A Wee Correction
“The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it’s a fundamental human right of white people.” -NRA Executive Director Chris Cox
Fixed it for you Chris. You’re welcome.
The Cartoon Gallery
A Coming Out Story
New and Improved!
The Story So Far archives
My Amazon.Com Wish List
My Myspace Profile
Bruce Garrett's Profile
A Tenable Belief
A Brooklyn Bridge
Box Turtle Bulletin
Cherry Blossom Special (E.J)
Mike Daisy's Blog
The Disney Blog
Dispatches From The Culture Wars
Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia
Envisioning The American Dream
Joe. My. God
Made In Brazil
Pam's House Blend
Progress City USA
Some Guys Are Normal
Straight, Not Narrow
Truth Wins Out Blog
The Rittenhouse Review
Steve Gilliard's News Blog
Steve Gilliard's Blogspot Site
Page One Q
Talking Points Memo
Truth Wins Out
The Raw Story
NIS News Bulletin (Dutch)
The Local (Sweden)
Pleasant Family Shopping
Discount Stores of the 60s
Photos of the Forgotten
Comics With Problems
HMK Mystery Streams
Mercedes-Benz Owners Club of America
MBCA - Greater Washington Section
July 18th, 2013
A Wee Correction
Fixed it for you Chris. You’re welcome.
Something that needs to be understood about this notion that his wearing a hoodie meant Trayvon Martin’s was a thug or a thug wannabe, is if young black men started wearing bow ties they’d be calling bow ties thugware. And all the nice people living in those gated communities would be telling each other that it’s the bow ties, not the color of their skin, that makes them thugs.
July 13th, 2013
The Vigilante It Is…
Zimmerman walks, which is the outcome we should all have expected from Florida, but still…
I was born in the early 50′s and spent most of my grade school years in the 1960s. During that time, probably largely due to the homosexual panics of the 1950s, I got tons of warnings in and out of school about being followed by strange men and how I shouldn’t let them get too close and needed to fight like hell if one of them tried to grab me off the street because I might never be seen again. Maybe they teach kids differently these days, but one of the most striking things to me in this whole episode is Zimmerman could stalk a teenage boy and get away with shooting him dead by claiming that he was mortally afraid of him and people keep saying with pious straight faces that Martin shouldn’t have fought back and because he did Zimmerman was justified in killing him and his race has nothing to do with that.
Seriously. Who tells teenage boys to just do whatever the strange man with a gun tells them to do and everything will be all right? I’m not trying to be snarky here. If you subtract Martin’s race from this, then all the people saying that Martin caused his own death by fighting back are not making sense. That Martin, if (If) he took a swing at Zimmerman, did because he was afraid is obvious. Unless you think that young black men don’t need any reason to try and kill someone with their bare hands because they’re all just animals really.
July 11th, 2013
The Vigilante Or Civilization…Pick One
Digby goes on to say “To me, the carrying of that gun morally requires that he be held liable in some way for the unarmed Trayvon’s death”, but there is where I often part company with my fellow liberals on the issue of guns: I am fine with the concept that you have a right to own a gun and defend yourself with it. In fact, I consider that right to be a fundamentally democratic thing.
What isn’t are things like vigilantism and racism. These are poison. They are poison to the person, they are poison to the nation. This case is positively dripping with racism that nobody in the corporate news media wants to look closely at, because we’re all supposed to be beyond all that now. Except we’re not. Zimmerman’s suspicion and fear of Martin only makes sense in the context of Martin’s race, his sex, and his age. There is literally nothing else there but those three things. Zimmerman stalked that kid because of those three things, and his rational for killing an unarmed teenage boy who was out buying snacks can only seem plausible due to those three things. Fear the black male, and especially, fear the young black male. Look, for as long as you can stomach it, at the breathless agreement that Martin posed a threat to Zimmerman’s life, solely on the basis of Zimmerman’s say-so, and the ephemeral signs of a fight on his face and head. That was no beating. You want to see what a beating looks like, look at the photos of recent victims of gay bashers. But it’s simply an accepted fact in certain quarters of the country that Zimmerman’s life was threatened. Were Martin white it would not matter what the race of his stalker would be, other than if his stalker was a black man he’d already have been convicted and on Florida’s death row. Picture it: a white teenaged boy stalked by a strange man, fights back and is found shot to death. Would anyone doubt the adult male had done something horribly wrong? Why is it never considered, that Martin was standing His ground when Zimmerman confronted him? Well, of course a young black male has no such right. Racism was always at the rotten core of this.
But if Zimmerman was a racist, he was also a vigilante and if you approve of vigilantism anywhere outside the pages of a comic book you are no friend of civilization let alone democracy. All those people waving around the second amendment as a defense against tyranny are no defenders of democracy…if anything they are the useful tools of anarchy. The gun is what you need when the the peace is broken, so the first thing, the basic responsibility of the believers in civilization and democracy is to preserve the peace. That means the rule of law and the ballot box as the agent of change. Peaceful disobedience, where the conscience requires disobedience, and responsibility for ones own conduct toward your neighbors. Responsibility. What a concept, that. Zimmerman acted like the gun came with a badge and they don’t. But more than that, he acted as if he had character enough to bear the wearing of a badge and it’s sickeningly obvious he is no such person.
However this trial turns out, if nothing else this case really raises a lot of questions about the kind of nation we are, or should want to be. So many virtuous moral all-American values types cheering on what Zimmerman did. It’s been a while since I’ve been this completely disgusted. Digby’s right, what would be a just punishment for what Zimmerman did isn’t obvious, but what is staringly obvious is that he did something terribly, horribly wrong. A teenage boy went out for snacks and never came back home, because Zimmerman saw a young black man somewhere he thought a young black man didn’t belong, and took that matter into his own hands.
June 26th, 2013
The Untruth At The Heart Of It
March 16th, 2013
The Lost Cause
Ever wonder how so many southerners can claim with a straight face that slavery was a benign, even beneficial institution toward black people? Ever find yourself chuckling under your breath when you hear one of them refer to the civil war as The War Of Northern Aggression…?
Read the whole thing and if you’re of a certain age you find yourself remembering how the further south you went, the more ridiculous their version of the civil war became. And you remember something else…how you just laughed it off and went along, because there was no sense rubbing their noses in it after so long. The war was a thing of the distant past…a relic of history, a plot device in spaghetti westerns and TV shows. The union won, slavery was defeated, a new South was born from the ashes. Well…yes…but so was the Ku Klux Klan. And almost one-hundred and fifty years after the war the party of Lincoln is now the party of John C. Calhoun, the intellectual godfather of the confederacy.
That has had consequences, among them being continuing and relentless political attacks not only on the rights of minorities, but more basically on the union itself that so many northern soldiers fought and died for. And since the nation’s first black president was reelected it’s only gotten worse, the outright calls for succession louder.
How did it happen that we seem right back where we started, minus only the slaves in chains but little else. It was the bloodiest war this nation has ever fought and in the spirit of healing and reconciliation the valor and bravery of confederate soldiers was honored, even as we all seemed to agree that the cause of the war, slavery, was a stain on both the southern slave holding states, as well as the northerners who kidnapped black Africans and and sold them into southern slavery. But almost immediately the south began denying it had any culpability at all in that war, and the victorious north eventually just accepted it as yet another of the south’s peculiar institutions. It was a mistake. When I was a kid in the 1960s we treated the lost cause mindset as the source of lighthearted joking…
Yes, yes…war of northern aggression…whatever… But it is no joke. Compare modern Germany’s acknowledgment of its Nazi past, and the horrific crime of the Holocaust with the south’s of its antebellum past and slavery, and then compare the political mindset of even conservative Germans nowadays with that of the southern republican base and you see what cultural denial buys you.
They cheered. They didn’t look away in embarrassment and discomfort, the way a German audience would if some lout among them defended Hitler for improving the lives of Jews by taking Germany out of economic depression. They cheered. They cheered because they grew up in a world where all their comfortable conceits about themselves and their history are never disturbed, lest they find themselves asking troubling questions about whence they came and who they are.
We did not start a war that killed more Americans then all our other wars combined just so we could keep other humans in slavery…we did not kill hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans, our neighbors, for the cause of white supremacy…it’s a lie…we’re good Christian people…
And thus the sins of the fathers became the pride of the children, and all the racism, sexism and homophobia, all the bitter hatred of a democracy that protects the right of black people to vote, let alone drink from a white man’s water fountain, and all the acid resentment toward a world that insists on moving forward to that better tomorrow, despite their best efforts to hold it down so they won’t have to acknowledge what their Heritage actually Is.
The lost cause isn’t lost because it was defeated, it is lost because it leads people into an endless darkness from which few ever return.
March 15th, 2013
Your Son Will Die Of AIDS…Not That We’re Praying For That Mind You…
Now drops the other shoe, as it reliably will…
Two things that people need to see to realize what this fight has always been about are the humanity of gay people and the bottomless vitriolic hatred of our enemies. Behold that process in action: a son comes out to his father who sees the son he loves, not a homosexual monster. This father declares his love for his son has opened his eyes. Thank you Mr. Portman, but reality isn’t through with you just yet. Now that your eyes have opened, you get to see who the real monsters are.
Prepare yourself. You may think you have seen the bottom of the human gutter. But it has no bottom.
February 20th, 2013
But Lord, I Hate Them So Very Much…
It’s like the buildup of magma under a hotspot. Eventually the pressure building up forces it out. Same thing with bile…
You can only wear that mask of genial civility for so long before you just have to start spitting at the heretics in the church across the street.
February 11th, 2013
If We Didn’t Love You We Wouldn’t Be Stabbing Your Heart To Ribbons
I began these Valentine’s Day reminiscences to shine a light on how love is systematically taken from this poor angry world, denied not just to gay people, but to everyone, lover, friend, family, they might have also loved. I began it with a quote from a vicious screed published in Harper’s Magazine back in 1971, by one Joseph Epstein, who said homosexuals were “condemned to a state of permanent niggerdom among men”…
Let us pause in our (my) reminiscences to acknowledge that however better it has become for gay kids just discovering what all that love and desire stuff is all about, many of them still get the knife in the heart, with LOVE engraved on its blade…
So now they’re organizing their own Gay Kids Not Allowed prom…
Feel the love, as Dan Savage says, because nothing says love like “you’re not wanted and God hates you.” The people organizing this “traditional prom” had a Facebook page up about it, but took it promptly down when their efforts suddenly became an Internet news item. Here’s what a couple of them had to say for themselves…
And this…from another member…
[emphasis mine] Those who participate in homosexuality. Those who participate in homosexuality. Those who participate in homosexuality. Do these people ever listen to themselves yapping? Oh…and there’s Homosexual Lifestyle, right on cue. And the ostentatious avowals of love for those who participate in homosexuality. We are not a hate group, we only want those who participate in homosexuality to know they are not welcome at the prom. Because homosexuals don’t love, they participate in homosexuality.
Feel the love, because the gay kids who go to that school sure are.
Worse though than a bunch of bigot parents, are the bigot teachers. And especially bad if their job is caring for the kids who are among the most vulnerable among them…
Here’s a direct quote from that interview, courtesy of Dan Savage…
Imagine you are a gay kid and you are hearing your teacher, or someone else’s teacher, say that your life has no purpose.
I notice this morning that the headline on that Wabash Valley Channel 2 page has changed from “Local Students And Staff Want Gays Banned From Prom” to “Local Students Want ‘Traditional Prom’, Gays Banned”, and I strongly suspect that’s at the request of the school that doesn’t want any of its knuckle dragging staff caught in the backwash of all this, let alone the school facing a lawsuit when a gay student takes Ms. Medley’s opinion their life has no purpose to heart and kills themselves. And of course you just know that at the end of all this, the homophobes will be bellyaching that they were the bullied ones. Certainly not the gay kids who wanted to bring their dates to the prom, just like any other kid does, and were told they weren’t wanted, that God hates them, and that their lives have no purpose, condemned as Joseph Epstein would have said, to a state of permanent niggerdom among men.
Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day. We love you. Can’t you tell by the knife we’ve stuck in your heart?
[Edited a tad... Edited some more to correct a name...]
December 11th, 2012
B20 (and E15…continued)
Triple-A is warning drivers in Oklahoma to beware of E15…
Yet the biofuel industry continues pushing this mixture (and B20) onto automobile and truck owners as if there is absolutely no problem with it at all.
The “Renewable Fuels Association” points to the EPA’s approval of E15 for use in vehicles made after 2001 and says the AAA’s “anti-ethanol stance is well known and tired” and that the organization’s call for further testing “reflects a pathetic ignorance of EPA’s unprecedented test program before approving E15 for commercial use.”
Notice meanwhile they say nothing about the fact that…
Here’s what both striking and appalling to this baby boomer, who bought his first car in 1973 and witnessed the first gasoline shortages and then the ever increasing emissions control requirements placed onto motor vehicles: When unleaded fuel was rolled out in the 1970s to deal with a form of air pollution, fuel nozzles were changed to prevent leaded from going into the tanks of cars made specifically for unleaded, because leaded fuel could damage the engines and emissions control systems of those cars. I remember this well. Why is that strategy not being advocated now? Simple. Biofuel makers and big Agra don’t give a damn about damages their products cause so long as they don’t have to pay for it. They have precisely zero economic interest in preventing that damage, and plenty of economic incentive to make everyone buy their product whether we want to or not and then pay for the damage it does to our cars out of our own pockets.
So what needs to happen in a saner world is the feds step in and at minimum mandate that pumps serving high concentration biofuels have nozzles on them preventing that fuel from going into automobiles that aren’t engineered to burn it, and that cars that are have fuel inlets that accept those nozzles, just as it was when unleaded gasoline was rolled out.
Yes, yes…I can hear the complaints about Big Brother Government or The Nanny State or both, and just beneath it as always, the angry babbling about the oh-so heavy burden of added government regulation from biofuel makers, gas station owners, and big agra…all of whom have an interest in selling you something and then immediately wash wash washing their hands of whatever it did to your car. The cost to consumers from engine and emissions system damage do not come out of their pockets so they just don’t fucking care. But it’s worse then just casual indifference, they’re telling people that it’s okay to ignore their own car maker’s warnings and the AAA’s warnings because the EPA said it was all good.
I got a letter back from Mercedes-Benz USA in reply to the letter I sent them a couple weeks ago about B20, which I’ll post later, but which says in part their warnings have been going unheeded and they are just as frustrated as I am. So as far as I’m concerned the biofuels industry should be on the hook for any and all damages to automobiles too, then maybe they’d support at least making the pump nozzles different.
As it is now, those tanks of E15 (or B20) that ruined your engine was money in their pockets so it’s all good to them. Responsibility for what their product does to the people they sell it to costs money so they’re completely against that. But that’s how business is conducted now, since Reagan freed them from the chains of government regulation. The chains are on us now, and it’s big business holding the other ends.
November 15th, 2012
You Furnish The Pictures And I’ll Furnish The War
So…dig it…Casey’s editor inserted two paragraphs into his story just so the paper could write an editorial, presumably attacking Friedman’s patriotism. The reporter then refused to allow his byline on the story and so the publisher had him fired. Because not standing up for the pledge of allegiance is a greater crime against America then not standing up for honest journalism and freedom of the press.
Hey Roger…you’d be running a much more efficient operation if you just got rid of all that pesky news gathering fluff you really don’t care about anyway and make your paper just one big opinion section. All your opinions of course…
October 3rd, 2012
Maggie Gallagher claims that it is rare for same-sex relationships to last. Her proof is the Regnerus study, which did not examine same sex relationships. If I cover my eyes so I can’t see you, then you aren’t there.
September 24th, 2012
The Libertarian Facade: What John Birchers Wear When They Want To Look Cool
Winger Eugene Volokh of the ersatz libertarian leaning Volokh Conspiracy gleefully passes on notice this morning that a lawsuit against Avis for discriminating against a straight customer can proceed. The gist of it is that because Avis gave a discount to the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce they were discriminating against heterosexuals by charging them more in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. If you thought that libertarians were opposed to such laws to begin with you’d be right. If you thought that most people who oppose such laws are libertarians you would be sadly mistaken. And especially when they claim to be libertarians.
Okay…but where was the evidence that membership in either organization was not open to this Plaintiff? There isn’t any. And even if it was, that still doesn’t make a case that Avis itself is discriminating against heterosexuals. Perhaps they give a membership discounts to the International Heterosexuals Butthurt Because Gay Bars Can’t Be Raided And Their Customers Thrown In Jail Anymore Association as well. Surely Plaintiff could have found solidarity there.
But never mind that. Didn’t I hear somewhere that libertarians don’t like anti-discrimination laws to begin with? Hahahahahaha….
Except of course, this is not a case about discrimination and that first commenter needs to look, really look, at why it’s getting applause from the gays get special rights pew. Special rights are when that smaller kid you enjoyed beating up gets a protector and now you’re having to answer for your abusive behavior and being a bully isn’t fun anymore.
A libertarian would tell the person filing this lawsuit to go to hell, Avis can do as it damn well pleases. Eugene Volokh and his peanut gallery enjoy the spectacle of laws intended to protect a despised minority being used against them. How dare they think they were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
September 19th, 2012
It Isn’t The Mirror’s Job To Flatter You
La Noonan today while eviscerating Romney, flings this one out…
Right there’s your problem Peggy. Your party has been faking that fairness and wisdom thing for decades now…ever since Reagan showed them how to do the fakery right. He was an actor after all. But it was never sincere and back in those days the party did its fakery with its eyes wide open. So Reagan could assume that wise and kindly American dad persona at the same time he began his campaign where three civil rights workers were murdered with a speech about states rights. He knew what he was doing. He knew you can’t win by telling Americans you want to dick them over. It seems you’ve forgotten that.
But somewhere between then and now you folks started eating your own dogfood and now it’s Romney who carries the flag. Face it Peggy, he didn’t steal it, your party gave it to him. Romney Is The Modern Republican Party. Its sickeningly plastic smile plastered over its transparent plutocratic callousness toward everyone who isn’t wealthy, sprinkled with the usual bigotry toward darkies, women, faggots and patronizing contempt for all the rest that grow their food, serve their meals, build their homes, mow their lawns, nanny their children and die on foreign battlefields.
For decades you’ve reached that elderly woman on the porch and her husband by way of their fears and prejudices. But their lives have been growing more and more pinched as the plutocrats have been sucking up more and more of the nation’s wealth. And now your party is up against a democrat who talks about citizenship and community, the old American values your kind regards as a dirty joke. He speaks to our hopes and dreams and aspirations as a Nation, not as a collection of gated communities. And that elderly woman is old enough to remember a time when that America was peaceful and prosperous.
It gets harder and harder to wrap policies that are dicking her and her husband over in that fake folksy Reagan fairness and wisdom, but it’s either that or resign yourself to living in a country where even the commoner’s children can grow up healthy, go to school, get a decent education and make a good life for themselves. You needed an ever better Reagan this year and you don’t have one, and that’s because you forgot the only way you win with that woman is to tell her the darkies are coming for their daughters, the homos are coming for their sons, and bullshit her about kinder gentler conservatism and that shining city on the hill they can behold as their standard of living sinks slowly into the sunset. You really needed to groom another good actor for the role. But you ate your own dogfood, you bought into your own spiel about rising tides lifting all boats and Romney, corporate raiding tax evading, everpandering, plastic smiling Mitt Romney is what you got.
Now give him a big hug and a kiss because he’s everything you ever believed in made real. Sickeningly, appallingly, unavoidably real.
Cheer up Peggy. It could have been Rick Santorum.
August 20th, 2012
The Rhetoric Does Not Serve The Purpose You Think It Does
He’s talking about rape apologist Republican (surprise, surprise) Todd Akin from Missouri. People keep reading his statement about “legitimate” rape as, if a woman is really raped she’s not likely to get pregnant, and therefore rape victims don’t really need access to abortion. But that’s not what he meant. What he meant was, if a woman gets pregnant she wasn’t really raped. She was having sex because she wanted it and that makes it her fault she got pregnant and now she’ just wants an abortion to escape the consequences of her slutty behavior.
That’s the mindset in the neanderthal/Taliban wing of the republican party…and let’s be real here…does it even make sense to keep referring to the kook pews as a wing of the party. They’re in control now.
They’re not fiscal tightwads either…
The last republican to actually practice what he preached when it came to balanced budgets was Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bill Clinton ended his term with a budget surplus and the republicans screamed that such things were dangerous because government would surely find ways to spend it. You didn’t hear them talking much about paying down the deficit with it either. No. Please. They don’t give a rat’s ass about the budget. What they care about is the size of government. More to the point, the ability of government to interfere in their splendid little culture war.
A government big enough to keep corporate power in check is a government that is too big. A government that is big enough to maintain a rule of law against the the power of big money to flout the law whenever it damn well feels like it is a government that is too big. A government that is big enough to protect the environment from being raped for the next quarterly profit report and to hell with the one after that is a government that is too big. A government big enough to guarantee the rights of women and minorities is a government that is too big. A government that is big enough to guarantee the right of all Americans to equal justice under law, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, is a government that is too big.
This is why the kook pews appear as though they are budget tightwads from time to time. The idea isn’t that government should live within its means, it’s that government should live within the palm of their hand, the better to wield it against the poor, the outcast, and all those slutty women who claim they were raped when all along they really wanted it.
Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com